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Project Drawdown, Daniel Kane, Ruth Metzel; Senior Fellows: Mamta Mehra, Eric Toensmeier, Ariani Wartenberg; Senior Director: Chad Frischmann


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, English Language Arts, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Data

Regional Focus



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  • This article introduces students to silvopasture as a means for farmers to help mitigate global warming while providing a more comfortable habitat for their farm animals.
  • Students will learn about the benefit of incorporating trees into agriculture, thereby improving land health and increasing carbon sequestration. 
Teaching Tips


  • Students can easily navigate the article since it is formatted with clear subheadings. 
  • The information provides a thorough description of the silvopasture process, along with its feasibility as a global warming mitigator.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers may wish to introduce the article by leading a class discussion about farming, gathering students' prior knowledge of farming terms and experiences.
  • Students should understand climate change and how conventional agriculture practices contribute to climate change.
  • Because the vocabulary is rigorous, a definition list would be appropriate.
  • Students should understand "hectare" versus "acre" since the data is in hectares.


  • Students in language arts classes can work in small groups to create descriptive paragraphs about silvopastures.
  • Probability and statistics connections can be made in math classes, as there are several data points to evaluate costs, benefits over time, and effects on the climate.
  • Silvopasture is one of many solutions, and other solutions are presented at the bottom of the web page or can be found on the Table of Solutions, so teachers can assign different solutions to an entire class of students, allowing for further research and evidence-gathering.
Scientist Notes
This article introduces incorporating trees into agriculture to improve land health and increase carbon sequestration. The article explains reducing emissions by integrating trees and pasture into a single system for raising livestock. The methodology, scenarios, and models are provided, along with the results and a discussion about silvopastures and its ranking as the highest for mitigation impact. This reading would be a great addition to a lesson discussing alternative methods to reducing carbon emissions. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.11-12.1 Accurately cite strong and thorough textual evidence, (e.g., via discussion, written response, etc.), to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferentially, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • RST.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.
      • RST.11-12.8 Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • W.11-12.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Writing: History, Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • WHST.11-12.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1. Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • HS-LS4-6. Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.
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